Review by Dynam1k

"Like stealing candy from a Pinata."

“Like stealing candy from a Pinata.”

They look of the game might fool you, but under that adorable body is a gem of the 360. Didn't your momma tell you not to judge a game by it's graphics? This game looks as if only kids would play, but anyone, and I mean anyone could enjoy the candy filled goodness of Viva Pinata! The mix of wonders jam packed in this game teaches us to never judge a game you haven't played yet. You also might get sick of the violence of the games released so far on the 360 and just want to relax and watch the pinatas roam in your lush garden This game sucks you in for hours thinking that you will do just one more thing and end up doing one thousand actions. Get ready for an awesome game, and probably the loss of your soul.

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Storyline
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I first thought that such a game would have a mediocre story. Yet, I was wrong. Jardinero, the former, best gardener of Pinata Island, but his garden was destroyed by evil things called Ruffians, students of the malicious Professor Pester. You step up and focus as the new gardener in Pinata Island, a fresh beginning, a dream. The challenge is to make this pile of dirt into the most awesome, magnificent garden of all of the Island. Don't let ol' Jardinero down, he has to use a wheelchair you know.

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Gameplay
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You start off with a place full of broken crud and something you couldn't even call a garden and to make a wonderful garden you will need pinatas. What makes this game fun there are objectives you need to achieve to make a pinata appear, reside and romance in your garden. The 60 different species will have you setting goals for yourself to get this pinata or that pinata. You may need to make a whole new garden to get a certain one, you can also make a new one for creating a theme, maybe one just for the fun of it, the possibilities never end. As you develop in the game, changes start to happen. New pinata, plants, and more become to available to make your garden more fascinating to the eye. There are things that need to be done in order to have a certain species to do what you want. Pinatas also have fights with each other and might lower their happiness or make the sick, so watch out. To make the world of Pinatas even more realistic, there is also a food chain of them, which usually helps the pinata reside in your garden.
For a pinata to appear it needs certain things to be included in your garden and it becomes attracted. The pinata will only resident in the garden if you have all it's preference finished, which makes the game it's challenging touch. Mating is a bit different, you still need to do the preference of the pinata, but at the end you get a special dance of this species, somewhat a reward for getting two pinata to mate, after the dance ceremony the egg arrives from “Storkos”, and finally the small pinata goes into it's cocoon and starts it's life as a pinata. Each of the pinata needs to be happy along the way, they run away if they get sad, so feed them some candy once in a while and this makes their value higher. You can't make a garden without a bit of help. So here comes shops for you to get supplies at. Costalot's store has most of the stuff you need to get a good working garden with a unfunny pun. Arfur has workers to safe you time on working. Petula has the accessories and a few pinatas in stock. Willy can build houses and some other structures to help out. Gretchen can get you pinatas you've already had as residents. Doc can fix up any sick pinata and it'll be good as new. And for Xbox Live you can send just about anything using a crate. Soon you'll be buying and selling like crazy, with chocolate coins, the Pinata Island currency. This is only a small spec of the gem of a game Viva Pinata is.

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Graphics and Sound
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A reason why we all love Rare, right? The graphics are simply amazing and it enhances the life of each and every colorful pinata. The animations are very superb. Many pinata are unique due to color of their paper. The voice acting could be better, though. Leafos' voice is kind of insulting to such a great game. The environment and scenery looks very nice in this game. The morning to night change is awesome and makes the game much better. The game freezes once in a while because of how good the graphics are. The sounds, besides the voice acting is pretty nicely done.

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Controls
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The controls are fine. They are easy to adapt to and do pretty much what you want. I, personally never have had any problems with this. Sometimes a bit hard to find some pinata, but nothings too bad that will disrupt the game in my humble opinion. There is even an option to go simpler or more advance.

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Conclusion
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Pros:
*A pleasurable addiction.
*Very unique and looks beautiful.
*Not many flaws.
*The pinatas are awesome.
*Many options in the game.
*You can never stop playing, it's so awesome that way.

Cons:
*The graphics may slow down the gaming.
*Voice acting is yucky.
*Sometimes it can be overwhelming to do so much at once.

Buy or Rent?
Renting to see if you like it. Most likely, you would love it and once you buy it, Viva Pinata is worth every penny you spent on it. Hopefully it won't let you down and this gem will be enjoyed.

After this whole review I hope thinking this game was “kiddy” will change. It's lots of fun and overfilled with much more than words can describe.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/12/07

Game Release: Viva Pinata (US, 11/09/06)


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